Face mapping: Incredible portraits of human faces on MAPS

An amazing sketch on a map of France (Ed Fairburn/ Rex Features)

A talented artist has created breath-taking intimate portraits by using detailed maps of the world as his canvas.

Cardiff-based illustrator, Ed Fairburn, combines the patchwork of roads, terrains and rivers for his unique sketches.

He uses vintage street maps, climate charts of North America and military maps of the Western Front from World War One for his art.

Mouths, noses and eyelashes emerge from the myriad of marks on the maps.

The 23-year-old originally from Norwich but now living in Cardiff uses ink or pencil crosshatching in his etchings, which can take him several months to complete.

His striking work has caught the attention of art enthusiasts across the globe, with some of his original pieces selling for £6,000 each.

[London from above: Stunning aerial images show size and scale of capital]

Mr Fairburn said: "I study what I'm going to draw. I study the patterns in the human figure and study the patterns in the maps and synchronise the two together.

"I have different rules for different maps. Simple things like road maps I use the roads as boundaries of tones. Most maps I won't draw over water as it's featureless but they add something else to it."

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